Week 2 Stash Guide

As Week 2 rapidly approaches, we begin to look at our drafted rosters to optimize lineups. A key aspect of managing our rosters is the ability to remain active and not get complacent. In the past, I have worked on a Game Theory I call “The Revolving Door”. I will combine that knowledge with this article to produce My Week 2 Stash Guide. Check out the full article at www.theleaguewinners.com if you want a full explanation of the theory. For this article, I will summarize it:

“The Revolving Door”

The Revolving Door is simple. Unless you have had extremely good luck in your drafts, you are bound to have two or three players at the bottom of your lineup that you will move on from. Instead of just letting these players take up space at the bottom of your bench, you should be sending out the revolving door in favour of high-upside stashes.

The key to this theory is to break the week of games into slates. Say I have two players on my team that I wish to move on from. Instead of simply dropping them for a player I want, I will go through my flowsheet. First I will drop them for two players I like from the Thursday Night Football game. If those two stashes don’t hit, I will drop them for two players from the 1:00 p.m. games on Sunday. If those players don’t produce results I will then drop them for two players from the 4:00 p.m. games on Sunday. I continue this process for Sunday Night Football as well as Monday Night Football.

Game Theory

So by the end of week one, I will have rotated those two dropped players through an additional eight dart throws. You may be wondering why I would do this. It’s simple. Those players aren’t producing, so I will drop them in hopes that one of the players I stash either breaks out or has an injury in front of him opening him up for an increased role.

Some weeks, this theory produces no usable players, so I continue with it into the following week. In approximately half the weeks, however, I will find a valuable asset. From there I can then choose to keep that player or try and sell high. This strategy frequently keeps me out in front of the waiver wire. It saves me countless FAABs when I already have that week’s hot waiver added to my roster. If I don’t believe in that player, I simply flip him to someone who does. That strategy has no downside. I’m already dropping the two players, so why not take free stabs at a potential league winner? The only thing this strategy requires is some patience and planning by the person who uses it.

So, now that you have an idea of my Revolving Door strategy. Let’s implement it for Week 1 and take a look at some of the players I will look to stash where available.

Thursday Night Football (Vikings @ Eagles)

This game is going to have minimal options. These two teams are loaded up top and the depth pieces are straight-up handcuffs in the event of catastrophic injury.

On the Vikings side of the ball, Alexander Mattison looked horribly inefficient in Week 1, so I’m stashing Ty Chandler in the event their coaching staff elects to make a change or increase his role at some point if Mattison continues to struggle. KJ Osborn is also a relevant stash in deeper leagues but is likely only going to see a significant role with an injury to Jordan Addison or Justin Jefferson.

As far as the Eagles are concerned, you have likely missed out on the stash opportunity here. Kenneth Gainwell has been my Eagles stash all offseason, and last week we saw that pay off. If you missed the boat it’s too late to scoop him up now. Gainwell will miss this game due to a rib injury, and it may be worth scooping up Boston Scott in case he has a productive game or the Gainwell injury lingers.

Sunday 1:00 Slate

This slate of games is always the most difficult because most of the teams will play in it. Here I prefer to target handcuff running backs behind injury-prone starters and upside young receivers who could be primed for a breakout. It won’t hold in week one, but young players coming off of a bye are the best targets here.

Running Backs

If AJ Dillon is on waivers in your league, pick him up. I’ve never been a huge fan of his talent, but with Aaron Jones already nursing an injury he is one potential play away from a three-down role.

The Ravens running backs have likely been added already, but if you are desperate at running back and one of Justice Hill, Gus Edwards or Melvin Gordon is on waivers you can stash them.

Zack Moss looks to be the lead back in Indianapolis this week and nobody seems to have noticed. He is not only a great stash but a great pick-up and play this week.

Roschon Johnson is the Holy Grail of stashes. Before the midpoint of the season, he is going to be a stud. If you are reading my work, there is no way he should be available in your league. Add him now!

Wide Receivers

Aside from Jayden Reed of the Packers in a confusing offence, there aren’t many options for stash receivers in the 1:00 slate. Josh Reynolds and Hunter Renfrow offer some PPR appeal, but neither comes with any floor or ceiling.

The best long-term options would be to stash rookies Rashee Rice and Trey Palmer and hope they hit within a few weeks. They have no short-term appeal, but could easily break out in the second half of the season.

The same can be said about the Colts and Texans receivers, although with less upside. Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, John Metchie and Tank Dell are all worthwhile stash options for the long term.

Sunday 4:00 Slate

The 4:00 slate of games is not as big as the 1:00 slate, but it’s still a hefty one to sort through. The same principles apply as above, handcuff running backs and young receivers.

Running Backs

Let’s start with the obvious handcuff that would be a league winner if Christian McCaffrey gets hurt again, Elijah Mitchell. He has limited standalone appeal, but if McCaffrey goes down he is an easy 50% FAAB budget pickup.

The 4:00 running back stashes are grim. Eric Gray and Israel Abanikanda are highly talented rookies, but neither offers any value outside of any injury on the depth chart ahead of them.

Deuce Vaughn is interesting because we don’t know who the backup is in Dallas. He has a low ceiling but could be useful.

Wide Receivers

There are almost no options at wide receiver in the 4:00 slate of games. Wan Dale Robinson and Michael Wilson both have talent, but both have been plagued by injuries throughout their college and NFL career. If they stay healthy and get an opportunity they could be helpful, but they are nothing more than deep league Hail MAry’s at this time.

Perhaps the best stash in this slate is neither a running back nor a wide receiver. It’s Dallas rookie tight end Jake Ferguson. Ferguson has shown the talent to be a top-10 tight end and with Dak Prescott having an affinity for peppering the tight end position with targets he could easily breakout as a rookie.

Sunday Night Football (Dolphins @ Patriots)

The Dolphins backfield is its usual injury-prone mess, so stashing even the lowest option on the depth chart could pay off at any moment. Devon Achane is likely already rostered in your league, so Salvon Ahmed could be worthwhile in the event Raheem Mostert isn’t able to go this week. Aside from the running backs, there is little to stash in Miami outside of a desperation dart throw on tight end Durham Smythe.

The Patriots could be worthwhile as they have a rather ambiguous wide receiver room where most of the options are available on the waiver wire. JuJu Smith-Schuster has failed to produce and looks to be hampered by injury, so stashing the other receivers could be a great idea. Kendrick Bourne, Katshon Boutte and Demario Douglas all have low rostership and are worthwhile stashes in deeper leagues. Boutte was a stud as a freshman in college and if he is ever able to meet his full potential he could be the best wide receiver in the 2023 rookie class.

The only other option here is Ezekiel Elliott. The Patriots are renowned for doing crazy things in their backfield and Zeke appears to be set for a larger role than he deserves. Scoop him up if you need a potential flex option at running back.

Monday Night Football (Saints @ Panthers)

The first of our Monday Night Football double dip sees the Saints and Panthers square off. The Saints present a few options with medium levels of ownership in fantasy. Jamaal Williams looked terrible as the lead back in the Saints offence making Kendre Miller a solid stash in case he gets healthy and takes over the role.

Another option, if he hasn’t been scooped up already is Rashid Shaheed. He looked like a serious candidate to be the Saints WR2 in Week 1 and he needs to be added everywhere. There is a serious top-24 upside with the young Shaheed, especially in dynasty.

The Panthers wide receiver room lacks any high-end talent so the best option there is to throw a dart and hope it lands on rookie Jonathan Mingo. If his role increases throughout the year, he could find himself useful for fantasy.

Both tight ends have the potential to be useful streamers. Hayden Hurst was the TE2 in Week 1 and will likely be a popular add, but Juwan Johnson offers sneaky upside in this offence.

Monday Night Football (Browns @ Steelers)

Game number two is between the Browns and Steelers. The obvious must-have in this game is Jaylen Warren. If he is on waivers in your league, add him. He is a high-upside handcuff who has standalone value even without an injury. He must be added.

Calvin Austin is also a solid stash to see if his role increases with Diontae Johnson likely to hit the IR this week. Austin is a slot receiver and unlikely to have a high ceiling, but he could have solid flex appeal.

For the Browns, it’s basically a case of handcuff stashing. Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong are great stashes in the event of the typical Nick Chubb injury. While the youth of Cedric Tillman and David Bell have some stash appeal in dynasty leagues in case Amari Cooper goes down to injury.

Final Thought

The theme here is preparation and patience. This strategy is not for the casual fantasy manager. It’s for those of us in tough leagues who realize even the smallest edge can be the difference between winning and losing.

Not all of these stash players will hit. Realistically, most of them will miss. Even if we only hit on one of these stashes a month, it’s an extra four undrafted players that we paid nothing for, but who added value to our fantasy team.

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Image Credit: Dale Zanine – USA TODAY Sports